Cities are severely affected by air pollution. Local emissions and urban structures can produce large spatial heterogeneities. We aim to improve the estimation of NO2, O3, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in 6 Italian metropolitan areas, using chemical-transport and machine learning models, and to assess the effect on population exposure by using information on urban population mobility. Three years (2013–2015) of simulations were performed by the Chemical-Transport Model (CTM) FARM, at 1 km resolution, fed by boundary conditioby national-scale simulations, local emission inventories and meteorological fields. A downscaling of daily air pollutants at higher resolution (200 m) was then carried out by means of a machine learning Random-Forest (RF) model, considering CTM and spatial-temporal predictors, such as population, land-use, surface greenness and vehicular traffic, as input. RF achieved mean cross-validation (CV) R2 of 0.59, 0.72, 0.76 and 0.75 for NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and O3, respectively, improving results from CTM alone. Mean concentration fields exhibited clear geographical gradients caused by climate conditions, local emission sources and photochemical processes. Time series of population weighted exposure (PWE) were estimated for two months of the year 2015 and for five cities, by combining population mobility data (derived from mobile phone traffic volumes data), and concentration levels from the RF model. PWE_RF metric better approximated the observed concentrations compared with the predictions from either CTM alone or CTM and RF combined, especially for pollutants exhibiting strong spatial gradients, such as NO2. 50% of the population was estimated to be exposed to NO2 concentrations between 12 and 38 μg/m3 and PM10 between 20 and 35 μg/m3 . This work supports the potential of machine learning methods in predicting air pollutant levels in urban areas at high spatial and temporal resolutions.

A multi -city air pollution population exposure study: Combined use of chemical -transport and random -Forest models with dynamic population data

Scondotto S;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Cities are severely affected by air pollution. Local emissions and urban structures can produce large spatial heterogeneities. We aim to improve the estimation of NO2, O3, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in 6 Italian metropolitan areas, using chemical-transport and machine learning models, and to assess the effect on population exposure by using information on urban population mobility. Three years (2013–2015) of simulations were performed by the Chemical-Transport Model (CTM) FARM, at 1 km resolution, fed by boundary conditioby national-scale simulations, local emission inventories and meteorological fields. A downscaling of daily air pollutants at higher resolution (200 m) was then carried out by means of a machine learning Random-Forest (RF) model, considering CTM and spatial-temporal predictors, such as population, land-use, surface greenness and vehicular traffic, as input. RF achieved mean cross-validation (CV) R2 of 0.59, 0.72, 0.76 and 0.75 for NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and O3, respectively, improving results from CTM alone. Mean concentration fields exhibited clear geographical gradients caused by climate conditions, local emission sources and photochemical processes. Time series of population weighted exposure (PWE) were estimated for two months of the year 2015 and for five cities, by combining population mobility data (derived from mobile phone traffic volumes data), and concentration levels from the RF model. PWE_RF metric better approximated the observed concentrations compared with the predictions from either CTM alone or CTM and RF combined, especially for pollutants exhibiting strong spatial gradients, such as NO2. 50% of the population was estimated to be exposed to NO2 concentrations between 12 and 38 μg/m3 and PM10 between 20 and 35 μg/m3 . This work supports the potential of machine learning methods in predicting air pollutant levels in urban areas at high spatial and temporal resolutions.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/168048
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 46
social impact